For information only - not an official document
7 December 2015
Re-issued as received
World needs to go further, faster, for sustainable energy revolution
Huge movement building for transformational change in energy systems
PARIS/VIENNA, 7 December (Sustainable Energy for All) - The Sustainable Energy for All initiative (SE4All) today urged governments, businesses and financial institutions to act much faster and go much further to deliver on the ambitious goals of ensuring sustainable energy for all while keeping the global temperature rise within two degrees Celsius.
SE4All, a unique multi-stakeholder partnership backed by the United Nations and World Bank, is acting as a catalyst for a huge global movement for revolutionary change in the world's energy systems, helping to build working alliances across the public sector, private sector and civil society and foster innovative policies, markets, technologies and financing mechanisms.
Finding cleaner ways to produce energy - responsible for 60 per cent of current greenhouse gas emissions - and more efficient ways to distribute and use it, is central to the fight against climate change.
Energy is also a fundamental building block for human wellbeing and sustainable development. Most of the UN's 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) depend to a greater or lesser degree on attaining SDG7 on energy, yet 1.1 billion people in the world still have no access to electricity.
SDG7 echoes SE4All's three interlinked targets on energy access, energy efficiency and renewable energy, and the thematic Energy Day co-organized by SE4All with France and the International Renewable Energy Agency during the Paris Climate Conference (COP21) demonstrates a broad range of innovative initiatives and commitments across all three areas.
For example, important new commitments on energy efficiency by more than 1,000 governments, companies and financial institutions are being announced, adding to the groundswell of support for sustainable energy.
Targeted energy efficiency measures, often referred to as the 'hidden fuel', have the potential to contribute up to half the savings in greenhouse gas emissions needed to keep the global temperature rise to less than 2 degrees Celsius, while also promoting energy access, productivity and job creation.
To illustrate the potential of energy efficiency, SE4All partner Accenture has calculated that just 75 of these new pledges by a range of businesses across the developed and developing world represent an estimated total energy saving in 2016-2020 of 62,000 gigawatt hours (GWh) - the equivalent of nine months' energy use for the whole of Paris.
"This is the tip of the iceberg. The potential is vast - but it won't be realized without a massive scaling up of this kind of action to levels far beyond what we have seen so far," said Rachel Kyte, incoming Chief Executive Officer of SE4All and Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Sustainable Energy for All.
"In the next few years we have a historic window of opportunity to shake up business-as-usual, building on the momentum of the SDGs and COP21 and the goodwill of this growing global movement. But unless we grab that opportunity, the window will quickly close," added Ms Kyte, who is currently the World Bank Group's Vice President and Special Envoy for Climate Change.
A step-change in financing will be crucial. SE4All's Global Tracking Framework 2015 estimates that investment in sustainable energy will need to triple from current levels, to more than one trillion US dollars a year from now to 2030, to meet the SE4All targets and Sustainable Development Goal 7.
Action is coalescing on several fronts to bridge this investment gap. For example, some 140 banks and institutional investors managing close to USD 4 trillion have recently committed to a major increase in energy efficiency lending and investment in their portfolios.
The public sector is also pledging action. Rallied by partners in SE4All's six sectoral Energy Efficiency Accelerator initiatives, more than 130 jurisdictions, including over 100 countries plus regional governments and cities, have set ambitious energy efficiency targets, and committed to preparing roadmaps and investment action plans to reach them.
Launched in September 2011, the Sustainable Energy for All (SE4All) initiative is a multi-stakeholder partnership working with governments, businesses, civil society, banks and international institutions to meet three interlinked goals by 2030:
- ensuring universal access to modern energy services;
- doubling the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix; and
- doubling the rate of improvement in energy efficiency worldwide.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim co-chair the SE4All initiative, which addresses the crucial global challenge of addressing energy poverty while at the same time mitigating climate change.
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